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SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 9.6
Autofocus 
 7.8
Handling 
 9.5
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
75 281,173 Fri April 28, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $607.42 9.62
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize

Description:
A weather-sealed version of the DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Maximum magnification is 1:1. The image circle of the lens covers the full 35mm film format as did its predecessor. Cosmetics have changed and build quality has been improved - the lens now has an aluminum barrel. This new lens does not have an aperture ring so it is not suitable for use on the older film cameras which do not allow for setting the aperture from the camera body, such as the LX, MX, ME, ME Super, K1000 etc.

The aperture has rounded blades which should result in a pleasing and smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (aka bokeh).

Like all weather-sealed lenses, the D FA 100mm Macro has a rubber seal around the lens mount, which can be seen in the photo (colored red). The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated.

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Hood
PH-RBE 49mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 80.5 mm (2.6 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
340 g (12 oz.)
Production Years
2009 to Present
Pricing
$546 USD current price
$376 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 1:2.8 100mm WR

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 75
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, Built quality
Cons: No aperture ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K30, K70   

This lens is wonderful. Compared to the older D-DA 'non-WR', the built quality is in a totally different league.
Higher quality plastic, optical elements in metal barrel, tight focusing ring, weatherproof.
For a reason I don't know, the sharpness is very, very good but slightly inferior to the older version. Probably due to manufacturing variability.
It is Very Good at full aperture, but only 'Good' in the corners. Excellent-Very Good at f/4.0, Excellent everywhere above.
Nice to use thanks to its light weight, 1:1 magnification capability and Quickshift.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: SE Idaho - Rocky Mtns
Posts: 475
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Resolution Focal Length Macro
Cons: Focusing Motor
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3 II   



Love this lens! For portrait work I can generally lock the focus and shoot at F/5.6 or F/8.0 from about 8' for a head shot.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2015
Location: KAWASAKI
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: February 7, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: excellent sharpness, build quality, look cool
Cons: auto focus so slowly, but exactly
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

It is really an excellent lens.


..

   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 61
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

Sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp!!! It is VERY sharp! I got my D-FA 100mm WR second hand. It is an expensive lens for our standards in Bulgaria, but all the money are worth it! Everything about that lens is beyond this world! Image quality, sharpness, build quality, rigidity, handling... it deserves 10000 stars!

Well the auto-focus is... noisy and you can literally feel when the lens is focusing. Sometime it has to go from end to end to focus, but... as a macro lens it is mainly used with manual focus, which is excellent, even with big winter gloves.

I love it and i have fun shooting with it! That's all that matters in the end of the day!

Here are some shots with K-30 and D-FA 100mm WR:













   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 195

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 23, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very good quality
Cons: sometimes expensive
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3II   

I've had this lens for a few months. Initially I was mostly using it for macro, at which it excels (surprise! Recently I've also shot sports and concerts with this lens. And it's pretty good at that too! It's not able to track over long movements towards/away from the camera, but I'd say it's more than usable within its limitations.

fwiw: the first lens I received had a problem, the focusing ring was not turning smoothly, and it's been exchanged promptly; this happens, no big deal.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 19

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, build, WR, Auto focus
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

I bought this lens 12 months ago and to be honest it took me a while to learn how to use it properly. Its sharper than sharp and a joy to use. I started taking macro shots of the bees that hang around my Lavender bushes. I then started using it as a walk around lens. I can't recommend this enough and it will sit on my new K1 most of the time..
   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Paris
Posts: 80

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, lightweight, built
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

Using this lens in 2 major situations: street portrait when WR needed, and jewelry packshots.
For portrait, love the bokeh. And sharpness. And blazing fast AF. An microcontrasts. everything . It delivers great shots in harsh climate conditions.
For jewelry packshots, it's amazing how it handles well the reflections and abberations, while working with glass type objects, differents metals aso. Allmost no PP needed.
And it's also a great lens all sharp at infinity focus.

I consider this lens to be overall at least equal to the limiteds and FA* , and i'm happy Pentax has a super price tag for it, given the amazing handling and performance.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 66
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, build quality, WR
Cons: No focus limiter, no aperture ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: MZ-10, K20D, K5   

Very good macro lens when stopped down a bit, usable as short telephoto portrait lens too. There are some aberrations visible when aperture is wide open. F4+ helps.

I'm missing some kind of focus limiter on this lens and also aperture ring would be nice to keep to retain back-compatibility with film bodies and also to enable users to mount lens on various tubes.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: construction, sharpness, size
Cons: -
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

What can I say, this lens is awsome. What does this lens so good?

1. Size - it will always go with you, it doesn't take much space in your bag.

2. Build quality - This is a limited lens, it doesn't read like this in the box but can't see any difference with a limited lens. The WR makes this little gem usable with any clima conditions.

3. Sharpness - Nothing to add to the reputation of the 100mm macro from Pentax, it's razor sharp

4. Bokeh - The rounded blades makes a buttery and creamy bokeh, really great. I wonder how it will render in the K-1

This is really a must have on Pentax line up, sharp, compact, well built, WR......only it's price can be a stopper for some people, but quality has a price.

Some examples so you can judge it's quality and bokeh:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/25654380794

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/14033175681

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/14353757634

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/26259143025

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/26259150935

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/21247926463
   
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,199
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $520.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, WR, small and light weight, image quality, sharpness
Cons: None for me.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

This lens is a joy to use. The images obtained with it are outstanding even at f2.8. If macro photography is your preferred choice then this lens will not disappoint. Its sharpness, color rendition and bokeh are faultless IMO. If using AF, this lens can hunt, but this can be minimized by getting close to focus manually and then letting the AF take over. The build quality is excellent. It looks, feels and performs like a professional lens. I can highly recommend it.
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2015
Posts: 140
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, general IQ, WR, build quality
Cons: AF sometime hunts
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

This is one of the best lenses I have ever had. Outstanding IQ, very sharp even at f2.8 but some fringing occurs. Tack sharp between f3,5 and f8. AF hunts ocassionaly especially at close distance. Piece of art in build quality. A must have for everybody.
   
Junior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Location: Boston-ish
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $359.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, colors, build quality
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

Crazy sharp, even wide open. Colors and contrast are wonderful. AF is a little slow, particularly at close distances, but that is to be expected for a macro lens. Build quality is simply superb. Do I wish it had an aperture ring? Yes, but if it is a choice between that or WR, I'll take the WR. This lens should be in everyone's bag.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2013
Location: "The Green Desert"
Posts: 122

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $370.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, fast.
Cons: AF can hunt a little bit in low light
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

My Pentax dealer here in the UK (SRS Microsystems) recently had a sale weekend so I was able to pick up a brand new 100mm for Ģ250, I think I've got a bargain.

The lens is beautifully constructed and the images produced better than I had hoped for.

Highly recommended especially for portraits.




   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 393

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The sharpest Pentax lens available, IMHO. Great bokeh. Weather-resistant. Full Frame compatible.
Cons: Like almost all macro lenses, auto focus prone to "hunting." The provided lens hood makes using filters inconvenient without removal.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

As a free-lance writer and photographer, I do a lot of product shots. From a tripod, photographing smaller inanimate objects, the SMC-DA 35mm Macro Limited has been my go-to lens for some time. It's only limiting factor is that one has to get pretty close to the subject for macro shots.

The SMC-D FA 100mm WR permits being at a bit of a distance to do macro work. This is an advantage in photographing such things as birds, insects, flowers in the wind, etc. To make this review short, I will say that hands down, this is absolutely the sharpest lens in my Pentax lineup (I have a total of 7 Pentax lenses for my K-3). In autofocus mode, the lens may take some time and hunt a bit over its wide range, which is from infinity to about 12 inches away from the subject. My solution is just to go manual, and move back and forward just a bit to get things in proper focus when in the field.

I love the bokeh the lens provides in the out-of-focus areas, and the fact that I can use it in inclement weather, since it's weather resistant. It's also full-frame compatible, so if I decide to opt for the coming Pentax full-frame camera, it will be usable for it, also.

I give the lens very high marks, and were it not for the focus hunting, I'd give it a "10" overall. But mark my words - you will have to look far and wide to find a sharper lens for macro work. Here are a few examples.

John

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/paladin







   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Posts: 52

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Perfect sharpness, small and light, but rock solid build, weather-sealed
Cons: slow focusing because of long focus throw, very noisy AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs   

I was looking for a medium telephoto lens I could use mostly for portraits, the search was quite wide from tiny 70mm Pentax Limited to huge 70-200mm Tamron. Because of the size and weight I cut out the Tamron, leaving only primes in consideration. The Sigma 85mm/1,4 was out of my reach, so there were primes like Sigma 105mm Macro, Tamron 90 mm Macro, Pentax 70mm, 77mm and 100 mm Macro. Out of these the Pentax lenses had the best reviews so the question was: shorter, but a bit faster and extremely compact 70 mm Limited, or longer 100 mm with macro ability? Because of great sharpness results in reviews I finally chose the 100 mm. And I do not regret it at all. Itīs brilliantly sharp, by far the sharpest lens I have ever had (either Pentax or third party lenses). Contrast, bokeh, distortion, vignetting: everything is great. And also the size is surprisingly small (the bulk on the pictures is made mostly by the lens hood, the lens itself is quite small and slim), despite being made of metal and being weather-sealed. And the price is also an advantage, only the Tamron 90mm Macro was cheaper, all the others were slightly (70mm Limited) or considerably (77 mm) more expensive.
Of course no lens is perfect: the biggest issue of this lens (as well as other screw-driven Pentax lenses) is the AF speed and noise. When trying to acquire focus, it is quite slow and very noisy, definitely not suitable for wedding photos in church. It also hunts focus sometimes. However for a portrait and macro lens speed is not crucial.
All in all an almost perfect lens and one of the best medium-telephoto (and macro) primes you can get for Pentax.
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